God on Demand

•June 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It seems at the same time to be wholly inappropriate that the catch-up service for a religious channel should be “God on Demand” and yet utterly suited to an attitude that seems to pervade a lot of religious TV.

Maybe there is a subtle postmodern irony I’m missing but Calvinism it ain’t!


•June 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

OK, I think we probably accept that change is now the only constant. It’s as much to do with the technology we’ve embraced as anything else. Not only are things changing but they’re changing fast.

In a nutshell: James 1:17 “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

Funny, it’s a theme that runs through the Bible – God doesn’t change, he’s consistent in every way. But change on our part is equally a theme (both our fickleness and also our need to change). Whatever about everything around us, we need to be constantly changing to become more like Christ. It can seem like we just can’t change – habits, personality, etc., but the Bible is built on the assumption we can!

Blog spot: www.theresurgence.com/md_blog – die with your boots on.

Free Downloads: a flurry of, in a wide range of styles

www.itickets.com: Name Above All Names – Abundant Life Ministries (worship)
Finding Purpose – Faded Me (Indie rock)
I Choose – Beckah Shae (excellent pop tune!)

www.newreleasetuesday.com: (both hip hop/rap – listen to the lyrics) Membership – Stephen the Levite, The Invasion (Hero) – Trip Lee

www.bandweblogs.com: Sweeter – Joy Ike

www.kingsway.co.uk: Great Is Your Power – Ian Yates (worship)

non-prodigal son

•June 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In a nutshell: never mind the prodigal son, what about the stay-at-home son? I’m inclined to feel a little bit sorry for him and that’s worrying. I guess Jesus maybe meant this part of the story for the likes of me. Look at the language the son uses. He talks about serving and he talks about doing what he’s been commanded. The father is quick to pick up on that. He points out that everything that’s his is the son’s. Maybe the penny dropped. If it did I bet there was a horrible sinking feeling. You mean I could have had a party anytime? You mean I’ve been trying to earn something that’s already mine? Agggh! How could I have got it so wrong? What a waste of so much of my life!

At Fuel 10 Mark Ritchie talked about what the older son should have done. He should have been out there, down the road walking his younger brother home. Reassuring him of his welcome. The challenge: who are we walking home. Instead of hit and run evangelism, who is there in our lives we’re taking time with bringing them home to the father’s welcome?

Blog spot: church mouse on World Cup in the Bible

Free downloads (sorry – you’d better be quick!)

www.kingsway.co.uk Forever Reign – Hillsong

www.gospelmusicchannel.com So What – 5 A.M. Praise

www.itickets.com Take The Lord With You – The Acapella Company & Testify – Joy Whitlock

www.newreleasetuesday.com Didn’t play this one but just in case you’re keen: Sleep It Off – Blood and Water

Born Again Christian

•May 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In a Nutshell: John 3 v3 the term “born again” only appears in two passages in the Bible (this one and 1 Pet 1 v 23) and is only one of many vivid metaphors for salvation. Sadly, through much (often careless) use it has lost its ability to shock. What of the term “born again Christian” – would that be someone who’s been born 3 times (once physically, then has become a Christian only to be born once again)?

New birth is radical, it’s not turning over a new leaf but becoming new and starting all over again, learning and growing from scratch.

Blog spot: http://www.andioakes.net/apps/blog – allowing ourselves to be aligned to God.

Free downloads:

Everything You Ever Wanted – Hawk Nelson from www.gospelmusicchannel.com

Show My Love – Ashmont Hill from www.itickets.com

No other way

•May 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In a Nutshell: John 3 v 18 “Those who believe in him won’t be condemned. But those who don’t believe are already condemned because they don’t believe in God’s only Son.” (God’s Word) It’s remarkable how often Jesus made exclusive claims about himself, it is more remarkable that anyone could think it was possible to reconcile Christianity with any other faith.

Blog Spot: http://livingloud.typepad.com/bowmanblog/ in the light of this it’s difficult to argue that you’ve a rough deal with your youth group, small group, church …

Free downloads:

www.itickets.com Tenth Avenue North – Healing Begins, great band good song! Also (for the children) from the iWorship Kids 4 album – Our Gods Saves

www.gospelmusicchannel.com FFH – Wide Open Spaces, can’t say I’m warming to this one. It’s good quality and fine if you’re into country …

King maker

•May 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In a nutshell: Col 1v16 & Rom 13v1. There is a lot of talk about king makers at the moment but the real king maker is God himself. I think the more we try to claim our own destiny the more God reminds us he is in control. Not that we should sit back and give in to “fate” but that we need to have a little humility and recognise that if God wills we will do …

Blog spot: http://prettylittlewilderness.wordpress.com first for the reminder that God is in control then for the previous blog about how God can use us no matter how flawed we are and, indeed he chooses to use the broken things of this life that he might have the glory.

Free downloads: www.kingswayworship.co.uk – to promote the new web site Kingsway are giving away 7 quality tracks from the likes of Matt Redman, Keith & Kristyn Getty, The Rend Collective Experiment, Delirious, Chris McClarney, Aaron Keyes and Brenton Brown.

www.itickets.com: Skeleton Bones – John Mark McMillan (the writer of How He Loves) & Those Who Wait – Ocean’s Edge Music.

www.newreleasetuesday.com: Running – Gateway Worship

Plenty to keep you occupied!

Class politics

•May 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I had to add politics as a new category for this one (I don’t it think it will get much use). I blog as an interested bystander – no I didn’t vote. That’ll get some going! The last time I voted on the winning side I heard every piece of legislation that followed justified on the basis of the mandate given. As far as I was concerned I had voted for very little of it and decided if that was how my vote would be used no-one would have it (unless I was convinced by the whole package).

So, what follows is simply observation from the sidelines …

East Belfast – not just a seat lost by Peter Robinson but, by all accounts, a seat won by Naomi Long. Personally, I don’t think many people vote on any great logic, they respond to how they feel. It wasn’t just the scandals Peter found himself in the centre of (there has to be a degree of sympathy there) but I know I felt: big house, posh clothes, smooth talk, earning lots of money, nose in the trough. I don’t think that fits the DUP brand (especially not the East Belfast part). Anyone who gave it any thought in the past might have known that was the reality (even the big man isn’t short of a penny) but it’s different when it’s in your face.

My gut reaction thinking about the parties is that Sinn Fein’s and the DUP’s success has been in their engagement with the man in the street (they were easy to understand). Alliance’s failure was that it was “nice” and well meaning and maybe a little middle class. The Ulster Unionists had a whiff of privilege about them and had been surviving (or slowly dying) on history and tradition.

Naomi seems to have reached beyond the Alliance Party “nice” image and engaged (through some pretty impressive “politics” and “alliances”) with people on the ground, not to ignore a pretty impressive track record of late.

If my analysis is right the Ulster Unionists got it incredibly badly wrong. If your problem is a lack of credibility on the street (with a whiff of privilege) wheeling in some “celebrities” (with no political track record) and allying yourself with the Conservatives is not the brightest move. What ironies in the Lady Sylvia Hermon situation – the Lady who is inclined to vote with Labour jumps ship and survives.

Just a thought …

beautiful minds

•April 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

There’s an interesting short series on at the moment called Beautiful Minds – OK it’s not to everyone’s taste and it’s buried in the Freeview schedule. The title is based on the film of the life of John Forbes Nash Jr. But what might a beautiful mind be?

Philippians 2:5-6: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus – a Christ-like mind

Roms 12:2 (JB Phillips) Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within – and then we will be so in tune we won’t have trouble figuring out what God wants us to do

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things – a clean mind

The Newsboys have a song about that last one “Something Beautiful”. There’s something in us that wants to know is it OK to … would it be so bad if … we kinda want to know how close to the edge we can go but that isn’t how the Bible is written.

show 17/18-4-10

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well I nearly got to Finland this week! Instead I’ll bring the blog up to date.

In a Nutshell: Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat, 22:32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 22:33 But Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!” (NET)

Jesus said he had prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. When Peter deny Christ it must have seemed like an unanswered prayer but Jesus clearly states he’s looking beyond that and even Peter’s denial is not a terminal failure of faith. How encouraging – not written off but encouraged. How many of us would have given up on Peter (including Peter!)?

Blogspot – Rick Hill thinking about cynicism and criticism (always timely!)

Free downloads: two from www.itickets.com – Luminate and Deluge and the title track from the Newsboys soon to be released album Born Again.

That’s it – off to think about Finland and butterfly wings. It’s always amazing to realise how little control we actually have over our lives when it comes down to it!

show 10-4-10

•April 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In a Nutshell: John 20: 30-31 “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (ESV). The writers of the Bible clearly understood they were putting together a reasoned history appropriately backed up by witness testimony. It certainly wasn’t their understanding that people would read what they had written as just useful morality tales.

Blog spot: Gary McMurray on Bible translations. I commented on this a few weeks ago but failed to notice the poll Gary had put on the blog. It seems from a rather unscientific but (I’d guess) fairly accurate poll that the NIV is still the most popular.

On air I pondered the difference between the NRSV and ESV which between them nearly rivalled the NIV – a little research later and I find the ESV is the ESV because there already was a New Revised Standard Version. The ESV addresses concerns about both thought for thought (NIV) and inclusive-language (NRSV) translation. It seems to be rapidly garnering praise.

Bottom line though, I still think the best (and most challenging) Bible study material lies on the surface and on this level there isn’t much between most translations.

Free downloads:

Kutless – new album It Is Well (song played You Save Me free download from widget below)
Vicky Beeching – new album Eternity Invades (song played Salvation Day – free download from www.itickets.com)
Sharon D Smith – Redeemed – free download from www.itickets.com
Jennifer Knapp – new album Letting Go (song played Dive In – free from www.christianrockrocks.com)